Time flies when you’re drinking suds. Today marks the halfway point for Arizona Beer Week, and the events thus far have not disappointed. The other night I had a great chat with Doug Odell, founder of Odell Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo. While sipping on a few pints of the brewery’s dry-hopped Red on cask at Papago Brewing (a divine drink in a stellar beer bar, I should add) Doug let loose a few tidbits of information that should have fans pretty excited. As many of you might already know, Friek, a blend of a kriek and a frambroise, just released last week, and is starting to make the rounds. This bold brew employs a combo of lactobacillus and pediococcus yeasts, 3,500 pounds of sweet and tart cherries, and handpicked raspberries from a local farm. If you haven’t tried it, make sure you get a bottle before it’s gone. Here’s what else Odell has slated for the near future:
* Myrcenary Double IPA is popping up at various events during AZ Beer Week, but the official release party is Feb. 26 at the brewery. This beer’s name is a nod to Myrcene, a compound found in the essential oil of hops. Clocking in at 9.3% ABV, this is a definite hop bomb worth seeking out. Expect to see these packaged in four packs of 12-ounce bottles.
* Woodcut! The brewery’s next installment of its Woodcut Series is scheduled for release sometime in May. This year we’ll be treated to a barrel-aged Belgian-style quad. Make sure to clear some room in your cellar.
* Mountain Standard Double Black IPA. Tired of finding someone to share that 750mL bottle of delicious black IPA? Good news! Although the timing is a bit hazy, the brewery plans revamp this beer’s packaging, making it available in 12-ounce bottles as a year-round addition to its line-up. That makes me very happy.
* In separate but not unrelated news, I sat in on a presentation from Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman at Taste of Tops (another stellar beer bar). The big news? Expect to see Sierra Nevada beers available in cans starting next year. I suppose that officially elevates canning craft beer from a “trend” to just a “thing they do.”